You're walking around your home one day, doing things you normally do. Maybe you've got some good beats playing on the radio as you clean, etc. Somewhere in the process of your daily routine, you start to itch. As you go to scratch the itch, you look down and notice little red welts and ask yourself "where did these come from?" You can't figure out if they're mosquito bites, or something else. One question that everyone should remember to ask is, could these be bed bug bites? You may have bed bugs in your home without even realizing it. The more you know about bed bugs, the more you can be aware of what signs to look for to figure out if you may have them in your home.
To be aware of whether or not bed bugs may be in your home, you must first know the different ways they can enter. There are a number of different ways that these pesky critters can get inside your home. Knowing the ways that bed bugs can enter your home is important because it helps you know how to take steps to avoid bringing them in. Things we do every day can invite bed bugs in without us even realizing. Bed bugs are tiny and can squeeze into the tiniest cracks, which is why people are generally unaware when an infestation has taken place. If you've recently received any used furniture (couches, beds, etc.) from a friend, family member, or even something like a yard sale, you may have unknowingly brought these critters into your home. Bed bugs stay well hidden, so you may not know if they're hiding in the creeks and crevices of the furniture you've just brought in.
Another way bed bugs can enter your home is if they're hidden in articles of clothing. If you buy clothes from a yard sale or a resell shop, or if you have a friend or family member who sends hand-me-downs your way, you could be receiving bed bugs without knowing.
Bed bugs can also spread easily in confined places. If you live in an apartment complex, you can acquire bed bugs simply from the critters traveling from one apartment to the next because of the close proximity to other people. You can also encounter bed bugs from something as simple as staying in a motel room if a previous tenant brought them in.
As you can see, there are many ways to contract bed bugs, so how can you tell if those little red spots with the pesky itch are from bed bugs or not? Aside from the bites, there are other clues you can look for around your home. As the name "bed bugs" implies, the first place to look for clues is your bed. Examine it closely for things like tiny dried blood spots. These are spots that can be left behind after the bug has finished biting its victim. Small rusty colored spots on sheets or furniture, and a strong musky smell are other signs that there's a bed bug infestation.
If you've determined that there is, in fact, a bed bug infestation in your home then you're probably asking yourself how you can get rid of them. The steps it takes to get rid of bed bugs are a lot like the steps in getting rid of head lice, plus some. The first step, obviously, is to strip bed linens and wash them. Once the linens have been stripped, find something to scrub and clean the seams of your mattress and box spring. Vacuuming the area around the bed, or other infested area, on a regular basis is another way to get rid of bed bugs and prevent re-infestation. The bed isn't the only area to take care of when getting rid of an infestation, however. Look at the area around the bed or other infected area. Are there any crevices, open areas in the wallpaper, etc.? These are other areas that need to be taken care of when trying to get rid of bed bugs. Get rid of any junk or clutter around the infected area. If you don't absolutely need it, toss it. Leaving unnecessary clutter around the infested area can make it harder to exterminate the area, as the bed bugs could be hiding in it without your knowledge. Deep cleaning and scrubbing is crucial to getting rid of bed bugs.
So now you know the signs to look for to determine if there are bed bugs in your home, as well as the steps to take to get rid of them. The next step is prevention. There are things you can do every day to prevent bed bugs from re-entering your home. Cleanliness and prevention of clutter is, of course, one way to prevent bed bugs. There are other options available too. Investing in encasements for mattresses and box springs is another option for prevention. These encasements help prevent the spread of bed bugs because the bugs can live for up to a year inside mattresses, and the encasements prevent the bugs from being able to escape. Making sure there are no open cracks around your house is another form of prevention. Make sure there is no loose hanging wallpaper. Also, if you notice any cracks near the baseboards of your walls, etc., you can take a caulk gun to seal off those cracks.
Bed bugs are a nuisance to deal with, but with proper education and preventative measures, they don't have to control your life. Just remember the signs to look for as well as the ways to treat and prevention future infestations.
Alliance Pest Services is your local Bed Bug removal and control expert in Monmouth County, Essex County and Bergen County, New Jersey. Alliance has several Bed Bug removal and prevention programs to ensure that all of your bed bug issues are resolved.